05-C Elementary School Updates
New Boca Raton Elementary School Approved
Dec. 21, 2018 - After months of conversations, number crunching and site visits, Florida Department of Education Commissioner Pam Stewart has approved a new elementary school for the City of Boca Raton.
Currently referred to as O5C, the school will be built on land donated by the City of Boca Raton near Don Estridge High Tech Middle School, a donation first orchestrated by then-Councilman and now Mayor, Scott Singer and District 5 Board Member and School Board Chair, Frank Barbieri, in January of this year.
The school will be the first new school built in the City of Boca Raton in many years and will provide up to 1,000 new student seats to relieve overcrowding occurring in all of the city's elementary schools.
The School District of Palm Beach County Opens a New Window. will release a timeline for construction of the new elementary school in early 2019.
A temorary school site will be constructed in the spring and summer of 2019 to house students from Verde Elementary while that school is rebuilt in 2019-2020. Once the Verde students return to their new campus, students from Addision Mizner Elementary will attend school at the O5C temporary site in 2020-21, until their campus is rebuilt.
City of Boca Raton to Provide Land for New Elementary School
Jan. 26, 2018 - City of Boca Raton officials and Palm Beach County School District representatives met to explore new solutions to increase school capacity. Superintendent Dr. Robert Avossa and District Board Member Frank Barbieri met with the City's Mayor along with representatives from the business community, to identify potential solutions to the City’s growing need for more capacity in the City’s schools.
Recent discussions about the rebuilding of two Boca Raton elementary schools, Addison Mizner Elementary and Verde Elementary, sparked discussion among residents and City officials about overcrowding. Many Boca Raton schools are approaching or have already exceeded 100% capacity, prompting District and City officials to reassess the urgency of need for more space and more schools.
At a City Council meeting on Tuesday, January 23rd, the Boca Raton City Council passed a resolution brought forward by Councilman Scott Singer which would allow the City to work cooperatively with the Palm Beach County School District and provide land for a new elementary school. The City-owned parcel is located near Don Estridge High Tech Middle School at Military Trail and Spanish River Boulevard and could be the new home of 05-C Elementary School.
This new elementary school was originally planned to be built in 2022, but accelerated construction could take place on land provided by the City. Pending School Board approval, the new school would be constructed at the same time as the new Verde K-8, with a planned opening in 2020 as an elementary school that will grow to a K-8 as students transition to 6th grade.
Once open, Elementary School 05-C would be the temporary home for Addison Mizner students while that school is rebuilt. The District, however, will continue to explore the use of the Sugar Sand Park area as a potential location for the new Addison Mizner School that would allow its expansion to a K-8.
This new plan provides the District more time to explore the potential for this location and to mitigate any concerns of the community about the site, including concerns about traffic from West Camino Real and congestion on Military Trail.
Other steps to increase capacity in the City’s schools include:
- A modular classroom addition at Spanish River High School
- Modular classroom additions to Calusa Elementary School, Eagles Landing and Omni Middle Schools
This plan will provide critical relief to the City’s growing schools and minimize the transition many students will make during their K-12 experience to just one, from middle school to high school. The movement to K-8 schools is gaining popularity nationwide, as a growing body of research suggests student performance is significantly impacted as a result of a transition from an elementary school to middle school.
School Safety Initiatives
After the tragic events that took place on February 14, 2018 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the City of Boca Raton took action to enhance school safety and security throughout the City.
Boca Raton Students Lead Discussion About School Safety
April 19, 2018 - Nearly 50 student government and leadership members from Boca Raton middle and high schools met to share their concerns about school safety with the Boca Raton Community Advisory Panel (CAP). At the request of City Council, and in response to the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, the Panel reached out to middle and high schools in the City and invited students to this special forum.
Each school sent about 10 students to forum to participate in round table discussions with the panel. The CAP members cataloged students' concerns ideas and solutions. Each table then shared a summary of their discussion. Common themes included lack of consistency in following safety rules, lack of enforcement, students identification and concerns about the infrastructure and safety designs of the schools. Other topics including mental health, bullying and overcrowding were all cited as safety issues as well.
The CAP later presented the students' concerns, ideas and solutions at the June 12 City Council meeting.